Gallery: ten of the most iconic Bond girls
From Ursula Andress’s Honey Ryder to Ana de Armas’s Paloma
The 25th James Bond film, No Time to Die, finally hits cinemas this week. Daniel Craig makes his fifth and final outing as Bond and he is joined in the cast by Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux and Lashana Lynch.
In No Time to Die Bond is no longer the “womanising, gun-toting secret agent that previous iterations of the character may have portrayed him as”, Sky News reported. And the role of the traditional “Bond girl” has also “seen a shift”.
Playing CIA agent Paloma, Ana de Armas is the new Bond girl who is seen “wielding machine guns in a floor-length evening gown”, said the Independent.
While some may prefer the phrase “Bond lady” or “Bond woman”, the overall Bond girl is “as quintessential in the 007 universe as the villains, gadgets and music”, said Chris Gelderd on Flickering Myth.
From Ursula Andress’s Honey Ryder to De Armas’s Paloma, we pick out ten of the most iconic Bond girls from the popular film franchise.
Dr No (1962)
Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder
Swiss actress Ursula Andress is often cited as the original Bond girl for her role as Honey Ryder in 1962’s Dr No, the first Bond film. Her first scene meeting Sean Connery’s Bond, when she walks out of the sea in a white bikini with a diving knife on her hip, is an “iconic moment in cinema”, said Entertainment Weekly.
From Russia With Love (1963)
Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova
Tatiana Romanova, who is known to her friends as Tania, is a corporal in Soviet Army Intelligence. Portrayed by Daniela Bianchi in 1963’s From Russia With Love, Romanova is one of a long line of foils sent to seduce and betray Bond. Bianchi’s Italian accent was reportedly so thick that her part was dubbed, said Tatler.
Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore
English actress Honor Blackman “took James Bond’s breath away” as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, AP reported. The character may not have had the best name for a Bond girl, but it’s “certainly among the most memorable”, said Will Ashton on CinemaBlend. “Thankfully, Blackman’s performance in Goldfinger matches it.”
Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson
Goldfinger, the third instalment of the film franchise, also saw Shirley Eaton play the iconic Jill Masterson. Many people think Eaton died during filming after being painted head to toe in gold paint. Although her character was killed by “skin asphyxiation”, rumours of Eaton’s death were “the kind of urban legend that often flourished in the pre-internet era”, said Christian Blauvelt on the BBC’s Debunked series. Eaton was - and is - in fact still alive, “especially since she stopped acting and dropped out of the public eye shortly after Goldfinger was released”.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Diana Rigg as Tracy Bond
Diana Rigg played the “only true Mrs James Bond there ever was”, said Gentleman’s Journal, though “we’re discounting Kissy Suzuki on reasons of that marriage being an undercover ploy”. After replacing Sean Connery as 007, George Lazenby only lasted for a single Bond adventure with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service “critically panned at the time of release”, said ScreenRant. However, Rigg’s Tracy Bond (also known as Tracy Di Vicenzo and Tracy Draco) “left an enduring legacy” on the franchise “that can be keenly felt over five different eras of 007”.
Maud Adams as Octopussy
“Bond ends up with a different girl in every movie, right?”, Time asks. “Well, except if that girl is played by Maud Adams.” The Swede is the only actress to play two different Bond girl leads: Scaramanga’s girlfriend Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun and the title role in Octopussy. “Dangerous, captivating, mysterious and beautiful - Adams encapsulated everything a Bond girl should be,” said Gentleman’s Journal.
A View to a Kill (1985)
Grace Jones as May Day
As the lover of the villain played by Christopher Walken, May Day “may not technically be a Bond girl”, said the Independent. “But she makes evil look extremely good.” A View to a Kill offers an example of where fashion begins to break through and break the classic Bond mould, said The Telegraph. Grace Jones’s May Day is “a force of a character with the wardrobe to match - high-cut leotards, hooded evening dresses and leather bomber jackets”.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin
The first ethnic Chinese Bond girl is a cool character portrayed by a good actor, said ScreenRant. Played by martial arts star Michelle Yeoh, Wai Lin is “unsurprisingly breathtaking in the action sequences, fighting like an angel of death”. A spy for the People’s Republic of China, Wai Lin later learns that she and Pierce Brosnan’s Bond are “on the same side - trying to stop an evil media mogul who wants to start an international war”, said Parade.
Casino Royale (2006)
Eva Green as Vesper Lynd
Vesper Lynd - a play on West Berlin - is by far the “most complicated” Bond girl, with a “whole diary full of dark secrets”, said Men’s Journal. In the 2006 remake of Casino Royale, Eva Green’s star-making role helped launch the Daniel Craig era of Bond films, said The Hollywood Reporter. And her performance still has many 007 enthusiasts ranking her as the pre-eminent “Bond girl”. In fact the French actress nearly missed out on the breakthrough role after turning down an audition nine months prior to actually getting the part. “It wasn’t until they gave me the script that I realised it was a meaty role,” she said. “I didn’t see her as a Bond girl. She’s a strong character; she’s got cracks.”
No Time to Die (2021)
Ana de Armas as Paloma
Ana de Armas stars as CIA agent Paloma in the new Bond flick, No Time to Die. The Cuba-born actress, 33, said she is defying the Bond girl stereotype by being the toughest in the franchise’s 59-year history, The Sun reported. “Paloma is a really complete character,” De Armas said. “She’s definitely something else that I don’t think we’ve seen in other Bond girls in previous movies. She’s a lot of fun - very active, very badass.” In the film De Armas adds “another dose of female empowerment during a mission that takes Bond to Cuba”, CNN said in its review. And NME reported that De Armas “thrills” during one “eye-popping party scene”.
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